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Monday, 17 August 2009

Can PF/UPND Pact win 2011? (Guest Blog)

In spite of the loud declarations from the ruling MMD party faithful, led by VP George Kunda, to the effect that the PF/UPND Electoral Pact is doomed to fail based on the evidence of the most recent by-election in Chitambo which resulted in their party retaining the seat, the mathematics of elections taken in a broader context reveals a very different picture.
An analysis of results by Parliamentary constituency reveals that 35 out of 150 show a potential change in contestability in favour of the Pact over the 2006 results even without winning over any new voters (though UPND may not have access to additional support from fellow UDA pact members UNIP and FDD as in 2006). Fully 10 seats in the National Assembly would be lost to MMD if party loyalties and turnout percentages are similar to those displayed in 2006. An additional 10 MMD seats were won by margins of less than 10% if measured against the combined theoretical Pact vote totals, while 15 seats (11 PF and 4 UPND(UDA)) won by similar margins against MMD will become theoretically less contestable.
It is clearly in the interests of members of both opposition parties to support the unified electoral ticket, even if the person they vote for is technically not a member of the same party as they are, as the extra support for their party in contested constituencies outweighs the costs of trading their vote away in an area that their party could not win even with their vote, at least by the numbers.
By contrast, these 2006 results from Chitambo do not indicate a contestable seat, pact or no pact (ECZ data):
012 Chitambo
HAMIR Nasim-UL-Gani A. MMD 6,659
CHOLA Evans C. NDF 986
KAPILYA Joseph K. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 282 Rejected 39
Total: 8,863
Registered 12,881 (68.8% turnout)
What has been more evident is a declining enthusiasm on the part of the MMD voters in the constituency from 2006, both in the 2008 Presidential Election (ECZ data):
And in the latest by-election (according to the Times):
Solomon Musonda MMD 3,149
Chanda Mutale PF-UPND 1,803
Timothy Kapolo of UNIP 397
Evans Chola FDD 245
Rejected 64
Total 5,658
Registered 12,881 (43.9% turnout)
PF/UPND do not seem to be gaining much, but the MMD support in the constituency does appear to be eroding, at least by the numbers.  
Inspiring a mere 24.45% of registered voters to cast ballots in favour of your party is not something to celebrate, much less to gloat over, though a sigh of relief that the opposition has been equally unable to inspire the majority 56.1% of the registered electorate to even express a preference may be in order.
Negative campaigns have one thing in common, they suppress turnout. Suppressed turnout does not seem to be working in MMD's favour, so we are left to wonder why they are doing it with relentless negative campaigning in the national media and speeches in constituencies. By contrast the Pact appears poised to reap substantial gains in Parliament, if they can just hold together without the Presidential aspirations of their respective party leaderships getting in the way. It would not take very many seats changing hands to deprive the MMD of their legislative majority, even if they retain the Presidency in 2011.  The hopes of the MMD seem to hinge on either Sata or Hichilema winning the battle for nomination as sole Pact Presidential Candidate in such a way that costs them the war for Parliament, otherwise they had better start courting UNIP and FDD for a coalition partner because they won't be able to get to 80 votes even with the 8 unelected Presidential appointments.
The potential that an MMD or sole Pact candidate may win the Presidency but be unable to muster a clear majority in Parliament seems quite real. In that case small parties and independents will become more important to legislative maths than ever, which may help explain the recent proliferation of new parties with little potential beyond a handful of constituencies. Divided government may be just what Zambia needs to make good on the fight against corruption and force all the parties to work together for the good of the nation.  
Swing voters in America often split their ticket and vote for different parties for executive and legislative branch positions, perhaps this is a trend that will become more common in Zambia as well as the inherent problems of unchecked rule by a single party become increasingly apparent over time. One of the oldest and surest ways to fight corruption is to make real the threat of being succeeded by an enemy who will eagerly review your account books with a fine-toothed comb for any hint of impropriety, an element largely missing from Zambian political history to date.
All data below is from the Electoral Commission of Zambia, 2006.
Constituencies won by MMD with totals lower than combined PF/UPND(UDA)
totals: 10
005 Kabwe Central
KAKUSA Kayula MMD 9,680
CHAMA Davies PF 9,509
KABESHA Mulilo UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 9,370 NKANDU Stewart Heritage 583
Total: 29,142
040 Chama South
NKHATA Bornface MMD 5,702
NGULUBE Yotam J. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 5,018 MAGOLO Rabson PF 1,458 MTONGA Julius Independent 413 NG’UNI  Chozi A. APC 230 CHAKWE Kamulibwe M. Independent 175
Total: 12,996
041 Chipangali
MWALE Vincent MMD 5,782
MWANZA  James J. Independent 4,788
BANDA Martha Heritage 1,295
PHIRI Weluzani M. PF 1,185
MAZYOPA Jonathan J. APC 971
TEMBO Wilson Independent 911
Total: 20,218
042 Chipata Central
MANGANI Lameck MMD 7,676
DAKA Kazembe M. PF 4,587
MWALE Mathew W. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 4,203 PHIRI Kingstone Independent 3,275 MWALE Magdalene Independent 2,118 BANDA Julius K. Independent 1,552 MUSUKWA Joseph APC 863 LUNGU Joshua Independent 416
Total: 24,690
043 Kasenengwa
TEMBO Verah MMD 7,144
MBEWE Isiaih K. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 6,146 MAKUKULA Joseph D. APC 2,735 MBEWE Dominic PF 1,413 NGOMA Misheck A. Independent 1,130 NYIRENDA Timothy K. Independent 875 SHANZI Burton Heritage 753 SONDASHI Mulenga C. Independent 502 SAKALA Fredson G. NDF 289
Total: 20,987
070 Kafue
MACHILA Bradford MMD 11,004
MOONGA Beatrice UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 8,811 KAPEMBWA Dennis PF 4,353 MWIINGA Enock Independent 515 SICHONE Langtone NDF 457 MHANGO Herbert Heritage 214
Total: 25,354
072 Chilanga
MAGANDE Ng’andu P. MMD 6,485
MOONO Cosmas C. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 6,070 KAMANGA Priscilla PF 4,428 MUYOBA Henry N. Lt. Col. Independent 792 ZIBA John Z. RP 307
Total: 18,082
088 Chimbamilonga
SIKAZWE Brian MMD 3,452
KABUTA Gilbert C. PF 2,845
CHISHIMBA Yona S. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 2,673 SAKALANI Bishop C. Independent 1,389
Total: 10,359
089 Kaputa
NALUMANGO Mutale W. MMD 5,167
BWEUPE Maxas J. PF 3,651
Total: 12,079
102 Mporokoso
MISAPA Maynard J. MMD 3,827
MUSONDA Mulenga W. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 2,340 MAKUMBA Abraham PF 2,268 NSAMA Job APC 143
Total: 8,578
Constituencies won by MMD with totals <10% higher than PF/UPND(UDA) combined totals (contestable): 10
037 Chadiza
MBEWE Allan MMD 5,903
TEMBO  Salatiel UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 5,030 ZULU Phillip M. Independent 1,071 PHIRI Almakio K. PF 377 MZYECE Edward J. Heritage 300
Total: 12,681
038 Vubwi
KAZONGA Eustarckio MMD 3,271
SAKALA Maxensio M. Independent 871
PHIRI Phillip G. Independent 564
BANDA Avito F. Heritage 520
BANDA Patrick Independent 352
MBEWE Grasiano K. Independent 344
BANDA Nicerata C. Independent 277
MWALE Raphael Independent 274
PHIRI Mark L. APC 237
Total: 9,092
044 Luangeni
CIFIRE Angela N. MMD 6,528
ZULU Charles M. PF 3,400
JERE Besnat H. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 2,492 NYIRENDA Leemans L. Independent 1,619 MZYECE Margret F. Independent 1,183 MWALE Greyson P.  Independent 824 NGWENYA Doris T. APC 648 TEMBO Moyo C. Independent 386 JERE Peter N. Heritage 380
Total: 17,460
046 Mkaika
PHIRI David B. MMD 6,842
PHIRI James M. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 4,860 MWALE George Independent 1,786 BANDA Eneless PF 1,174 PHIRI Eness Independent 769 PHIRI Kelvin Independent 625 ZULU Henry H. APC 493 TEMBO Fredson M. Heritage 460 PHIRI Jasiel J. Independent 444 PHIRI Joseph A. PUDD 113
Total: 17,566
049 Lumezi
BANDA Isaac MMD 9,818
ZULU Dickson S. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 7,161 PHIRI Peter M. PF 2,193 MBEWE Mary M. Independent 1,058
Total: 20,230
051 Malambo
MWALE Maxwell B. MMD 4,838
KAUNDA Kaweche UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 4,399 CHINGAIPE Annie-Yeta Independent 1,446 BANDA Levies N. Independent 751 BANDA Joyce Independent 651 LUBILO Rodgers APC 629 BANDA Chrispin M. Independent 459 PHIRI Peter S. PUDD 443 MWALE Alice PF 403 ZIMBA George NGP 394 KALOMBA Richard Heritage 169
Total: 14,582
053 Kapoche
BANDA Nicholas K. MMD 9,203
BANDA Charles R. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 7,920 MWALE Lawrence Heritage 1,203 TEMBO Elina PF 723
Total: 19,049
063 Mambilima
CHIBALE Sophie PF 1,880
MOBA Chama UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 1,360
KALIFUNGWA Patrick K. Independent 943
CHILESHE Matildah M. Independent 507
KAOMA Alfred APC 221
LYOBA Victoria C. NDF 141
Total: 8,634
071 Feira
SHAWA Charles J. MMD 3,461
Total: 6,725
113 Zambezi East
KANDEPU Rosemary Y. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 5,208 MUKWAKWA Maxwell Independent 3,473
Total: 15,318
Total 2006 MMD constituencies theoretically contestable by PF/UPND Pact in 2011: 20 (12.66% of 158 total MPs).
Constituencies won by PF alone with totals <10% higher than MMD totals
(contestable): 11
019 Chimwemwe
NSANDA Willie PF 8,852
LUNGU George MMD 7,397
MUNGALABA Ackson Heritage 6,324
KUNDA  Jackson  K. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 822
Total: 23,395
020 Kamfinsa
NYIRENDA Michael A. PF 7,638
CHIPILI Webby MMD 6,125
MWANJISI Lemmy A. Independent 1,943
KHALOMOH Alfred UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 1,338 KASONDE Cecilia Heritage 1,075 NYIRENDA David NDF 418
Total: 18,537
024 Luanshya
PHIRI-NJOVU Jean  M. PF 9,101
KACHIMBA Simon MMD 9,081
MULENGA-BANDA Helen Independent 3,346
SIWALE Peart UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 1,718 BWALYA Barnabas C. NDF 909
Total: 24,155
026 Kankoyo
CHANDA Percy PF 5,081
SANDI Emmanuel A. MMD 4,783
MWANSA Victoria N. Independent 924
NYUNDU Moses Independent 583
Total: 11,973
028 Mufulira
MASIYE Marjory M. PF 7,113
MUSHINGE Chapa G. MMD 6,505
Total: 14,628
058 Pambashe
CHISHYA Bernard E. PF 3,510
MPASA Ivo MMD 3,114
MUSONDA Mathews NDF 693
Total: 7,317
068 Chifunabuli
MWANSA Ernest C. PF 6,392
SAKENI Kennedy M. MMD 6,263
CHILUBA Theresa Independent 4,268
KAMWENDA Innocent UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 370 MULENGA Charles NDF 276 MWEWA Chrispin C. Heritage 272
Total: 17,841
081 Munali
MUMBI Chilufya J. PF 23,520
CHEWE Austin C. MMD 22,413
TEMBO Emmanuel UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 8,769 LAMBA Kapembwa Heritage 3,317 NAWA Stephen L. ULP 2,641
Total: 60,660
082 Chilubi
CHISALA Obius C. PF 7,431
CHISUPA Chola J. MMD 5,851
FUBE Mulenga F. Independent 4,152
PANDE Francis M. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 1,807
Total: 19,241
083 Chinsali
MULENGA Christopher PF 7,287
MUTALE Thomas MMD 6,920
MUKOSA George C. NDF 1,697
MFULA Katongo R. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 501
Total: 16,405
099 Mfuwe
MALAMA Mwimba H. PF 2,722
MANDA Songolo M. MMD 2,544
MWANSA Charity UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 1,112 BWALYA Thomas APC 872 SAMBWA Nason Independent 685 MALAMA Rodgers Heritage 247
Total: 8,182
Constituencies won by UPND(UDA) alone with totals <10% higher than MMD totals (contestable): 4
045 Milanzi
NJOBVU Chosani A. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 5,682 BANDA Rosemary C. MMD 4,472 PHIRI Chimwala T. Independent 1,911 BANDA Emmanuel APC 1,259 MVULA Ezala PF 529
Total: 13,853
050 Lundazi
LUNGU Mkhondo D. UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 10,275 BANDA Frackson MMD 9,161 NYIRENDA Matildah Independent 4,212 MBEWA Daud D. NDF 1,210 NYIRONGO James C. PF 1,123 CHIPETA Chifumu W. Independent 672 MTONGA Chrispin W. RP 442 MANG’ANDA Rabson Independent 369
Total: 27,464
108 Mwinilunga East
KATUKA Stephen UPND, FDD, UNIP (UDA) 10,706 KATOKA James MMD 10,358 MUSHIDIKA Benard APC 1,057
Total: 22,121
138 Luampa
LIMATA Mwiya J. UPND 6,169
MANJATA Mashata S. MMD 5,363
Total: 11,753
(Guest Blogger)


  1. Thought provoking analysis Yakima. But unfortunately, this analysis does not take into account the apathy that generally mars by elections in Zambia.
    Using 2008 results against 2006 may not give a very accurate picture of what would happen in 2011.

  2. Furthermore, Yakima writes likes the ruling party has no strategy. They are already preparing for how to win in 2011, esspecially that the 50+1% will soon be enacted. Also, Yakima does not take into account the reality on the ground that Tonga's will not vote for a Bemba and Bemba's will not vote for a Tonga. The pacts greatest enemies are their own supporters. Levy performed poorly in his first run of 2001 but did a lot better in 2006 on his re-run. This is the trend in Zambia since 1991 and we should expect the same for RB on his re-run! The stats Yakima quotes show that PF/UPND lost 45 voters despite their lavish campign of big rallies organized from Lusaka and yet with much less excitement, MMD convinced an additional 897 voters to come out and support their candidate. Yakima needs to translate that to determine what is likely to happen in 2011!

  3. using 2008 results against 2006 to give a picture of what would happen in 2011 is very misleading. In 2006 the MMD Candidate was LPM while in 2008 it was RB. In 2006 there was UDA composed of FDD, UNIP and UPND.UDA no longer exist and you can therefore not add UDA votes to project possible votes to the PF/UPND(PACT)moreover UNIP and FDD are not in The pact.In 2008 RB was a candidate of convenience with power over govnt but not with as much power over MMD, in 2011 he is likely to have power over both and will not walk a line as thin as the one in 2008.On the other hand both leaders in the Pact did not have a good reltionship with the private media in 2006, In 2011 they are likely to have one.However, the private Media seems to be in a very good relationship with one leader than the other as seen in Chitambo. if this continues discontent might come in causing a make or brake for the pact.Predictions based on numbers alone are not only inconclusive but misleading because factors of the media and voter registration at the time of election do come in. lets wait and see

  4. General, Anon,

    Thank you both for those comments, and I certainly agree that simple numerical analysis of constituency vote totals between elections is not the complete story of what challenges parties will face in 2011. Ultimately only the actual ballots will tell the tale. However if one is only going to use a single metric to judge whether and to what degree a given constituency is likely to be "contestable", and given that most of the voters on the rolls for 2011 were also voters in 2006, then previous election results are relatively accurate predictors. Mounting a more complete study which undertakes to compile effects from multiple demographic metrics, conducts up to date opinion polls, analyzes campaign spending patterns and effectiveness, and predicts the down-ticket effects of various permutations of candidates in the final Presidential field, well that would take more than just me, plus a sack of cash.

    I certainly don't want to give the impression that the ruling party has no strategy, rather that the apparent current strategy (as displayed by their supporters like Anonymous), hinges on the division between Tonga and Bemba and other "divide and conquer" negative campaign tactics. As usual the Parliamentary electoral implications which make up the bulk of the analysis are skipped over in favour of speculation over the Presidential election. By the time 50%+1 rules narrow the executive branch race down to a two candidate run-off, the Parliamentary seats will have already been largely distributed, and based on the voting patterns from 2006 neither the Pact nor MMD is likely to come away with a clear majority in the assembly.

    This is not a Presidential election prediction, it is an assessment of mathematical contestability at the constituency level. I would hope that these numbers would inspire the MMD to change tactics, stop negative campaigning, and start shoring up their base and broadening their appeal. I neither expect nor desire the disappearance of the MMD from politics or leadership in the nation, but I am not going to simply sit here quietly and agree that somehow the Chitambo by-election was a defining moment in Zambian political history. It was clearly a side-show, and the only potentially shocking news would have been if somehow MMD had lost control of the seat against all reasonable prediction.

    [to be cont...]

  5. [..inued]

    In 2006, MMD received 6,659 votes from Chitambo (75.46%) while the Pact (including UDA) took 897 + 282 = 1,179 votes (13.36%) while an independent took the remaining 986 votes (11.17%).

    In the 2008 Presidential special election less than half as many votes were cast, MMD received 2,252 votes (53.82%) while the Pact candidates (with no apparent support or competition from UNIP/FDD) took 1,848 votes (44.17%), and Godfrey Miyanda got 13 votes for Heritage (0.31%).

    In the 2009 Parliamentary by-election last week, MMD polled 3,149 votes (55.66%), the Pact (with competition from former UDA pact partners) polled 1,803 votes (31.87%), while UNIP got 397 votes (7.02%) and FDD got 245 (4.33%). Comparing 2008 to 2009 shows roughly equal proportions for ruling and opposition parties, 54-46 and 56-44, which is clearly a long way from 2006's 75-25 split. If voter apathy was the only cause of lower turnouts, then MMD voters would appear to be disproportionately apathetic. I suspect negative campaigning which reduces electorates down to "core constituencies" and alienates "swing voters" helps to explain these results. Does that translate?

    Again, I am not predicting the end of MMD based on a single by-election, rather it is VP George Kunda and others who are attempting to declare the Pact to be "useless" on that basis. My reading of the electoral maths involved does not bear that conclusion out. I am not predicting guaranteed Pact victories (nor do I necessarily care which party wins which constituency, these candidates are not there to represent me but the people who live there), instead I am illustrating why the math shows better outcomes for members of both Pact parties if they support each other's Parliamentary candidates than competing with each other would provide. If Tonga's and Bemba's refuse to vote for each other contrary to their own apparent self-interest, well that's democracy for you, but I won't lose any sleep over it.

    Seriously, if the MMD loudmouths would stop it with the ridiculous claims and public attacks on civil society and media, then I could concentrate more on picking apart the ridiculous statements by opposition party leaders (and they make a lot of them). For example, Sata seems to have very little respect for constitutional checks and balances, and gives every indication of intention to be an even more autocratic chief executive than any previous President, should he be elected. I certainly do not support such statements or the politicians who make them. George Kunda has a great deal of official power however, so he will get the bulk of my attention for his own autocratic and Orwellian statements for as long as he keeps making them publicly.

  6. I think that I should also add that the original title of this article was Electoral Contestability in 2011 Zambian Parliamentary Elections, Potential Impact of the PF/UPND Electoral Pact on Constituency Vote Totals, which got appropriately simplified to the current title in part to prevent it being mangled when linked to (e.g. @140 characters the original title won't fit in a tweet with its own link attached). I set out to discover if indeed, as some have claimed, the PF and UNDP voter bases are so regionally defined as to render an electoral pact between them functionally meaningless (i.e. do they actually have enough voters in each other's battlegrounds against the MMD to make any real difference? Would one benefit and the other not?). What I found was that by throwing their support to one another, the Pact did in fact appear to increase contestability in favour of both parties. Believe me I would have reported the results either way because it takes a while to go through the numbers for all 150 constituencies, and I am egotistical enough to think that my time is valuable. I would hope that this would at least be more useful to readers than the usual sniping back and forth between party spokespeople, if still far from comprehensive.


  8. PF is a Bemba Only movement and UPND is a Tonga Only movement. MMD is the opnly party that covers everybody (all 73 tribes, whites, indians and coloureds). Until a time when a party that represents ALL tribes emerges to compete with MMD, elections will continue to be dominated by MMD. Dont get your hopes too high over a tribalist pact whose aim is to dominate all the other tribes.

  9. 2011 elections whichever way they go will not bring real change in Zambia. The reason is simple. Zambians always vote for wrong people. The best candidates never really Marshall enough support. HH is far better than SATA and RB but he does not have enough support on the ground. So i wont vote this time around,maibe in 2016.


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